The Day Before the Game
First off, I’d like to thank every member of Card Nation that made the trip to Orlando. Whether it was by plane, car, or shuttle bus, thank you. Wherever we went in Orlando there were a few Cards fans; some seemed optimistic about a win, while others were just happy to see the start of the college football season regardless of the opponent.
The Morning/Afternoon of the Game Day
Going out to breakfast that morning was an adventure. Alabama fans appeared to have taken over Orlando. The amount of Louisville fans were few and far between. Perhaps our fans were still recovering from hitting up the bars and clubs the night before.
Finally, we decided to just grab a bite from IHOP. The service was great, but I could’ve done without the numerous amounts of “Roll Tide” chants; that was very annoying.
Later in the afternoon before tailgating, my family and I headed downtown to meet up with some friends at Harry Buffalo. We got there and we couldn’t be seated. They had not seated anyone since 2 pm; standing room only.
Church street was packed, but it was packed crimson. This was where I first began to notice how outnumbered us Louisville fans were.
The SEC (everyone but UK) takes football seriously. The amount of Alabama fans was shocking; felt like this was a glorified home game for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Fans lined up 3 deep and in some cases 4 deep to watch and cheer on their team as the busses rolled in. “Hi, Hello, what’s up” had seemingly been replaced with “Roll Tide.” Silly me. This was when the fan in me realized there was no way Louisville was going to pull off this upset.
Some Alabama fans even allowed me to tailgate with them for a few minutes, grab a drink, and a plate full of food. We talked about possible wins on the Louisville schedule (not including Alabama). The food was great. They sure know how to barbecue in Tuscaloosa.
Damn, Alabama players are big. They all look like they should be playing on Sundays. Take off the numbers and you’d be hard pressed to tell the first string from the third string players. “Just don’t embarrass my program on National TV,” was all I thought.
Fast forward to game time; Alabama did their thing and all those seemingly nice Alabama fans unmasked themselves as the petty, stuck up, obnoxious, and cocky fan base they are. They didn’t want to give us anything, not a completion, not a yard, and much less a touchdown. It was a nightmare. We finally scored, my joyful delight quickly turned into a little worry. It felt like the Tide fans wanted to feed me to the wolves. The fans wanted a shutout (who could blame them). They also wanted the touchdown right back (again, who could blame them). Finally the game was over, but not my misery.
Apparently it is an Alabama Crimson Tide tradition to insult the losing team by inserting their name ( in this case Cardinals) into a little song reminding us that they just kicked our butts. If I never hear another “Roll Tide Roll” it will be too soon. Unless of course they are playing UK or Ohio State.
Overall the trip to Orlando was a good experience. I encourage all Cardinal fans to try to make it to at least one neutral site game a year. If not for the weekend getaway, then just to come out and support our team. Here’s hoping that we can start a winning streak this Saturday, Go Cards!!!